Message to U.S. Citizens

Location:  Tirana, Albania

Subject: New Albanian Immigration Law 79/2021

The U.S. Embassy is aware that the passage and publication of “Law 79” in Albania last year has caused confusion for U.S. citizens, especially concerning its implications for U.S. citizen visitors to Albania and the amount of time that they may be allowed to remain in Albania without a residence permit. Previously, U.S. citizens had been allowed to enter Albania for a period of up to one year; however, Law 79 only allowed for visa-free entry of up to 90 days.

The Embassy followed up on these concerns with the government of Albania to seek greater clarity on the policy.

Albania’s Council of Ministers issued a decision, officially published on March 8, which effectively reverts to the earlier policy governing entry to Albania for citizens of the United States:

  • Citizens of the United States of America again may be allowed to enter and stay without a residence permit in the Republic of Albania for a term of up to one year.
  • These citizens may re-enter and stay without a residence permit in the Republic of Albania for a new term of up to one year, if they have stayed outside the territory of the Republic of Albania for more than 90 days since their last departure.

For further details, please refer to “Vendim i Këshillit të Ministrave nr. 124” (Decision of the Council of Ministers #124” in the March 8 “Fletorja Zyrtare #35” (Official Gazette #35) available through https://qbz.gov.al/.

The Embassy understands that the current policy generally will be applied retroactively, to include U.S. citizens who entered Albania since or during the implementation of Law 79, assuming there was no other issue that required a limitation in their term of stay.

Please note that the Embassy cannot anticipate how the whole of Albania’s immigration law may be applied to every individual’s circumstances. U.S. citizens still may be denied entry, or have their term of entry to Albania limited, at the discretion of Albanian border and migration authorities.

Any U.S. citizens with questions or concerns about their legal status in Albania, or their allowable term of stay, should direct their specific inquiries to the Directorate of Border and Migration.

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